Learning new skills

Today about the obstacles for learning a new skill and how I’d like to approach it next time. Insight time!

I just realized something when looking at the note to a CSS coding tutorial that I wanted to learn from: “Hmm, there would always be a moment when you want to learn something new.” I asked myself: “What would be the ideal way how to learn next time?”

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The holes

From the previous experience the first step is to avoid the holes. What holes you may ask? Last time when I was going to learn CSS this is what happened.

“Oh yeah, open this one, um also this one seems good. ‘Best CSS coding practices,’ yeah this is what I want. I want to write quality code!” while searching through YouTube videos and opening them like a maniac.

It feels similar to arriving hungry at a food store. You want it all. It’s almost like if I thought, that the more YouTube videos opened, means more learning would happen!

The result is not really learning anything but hey, one feels like he is. “What?! I’m watching how to learn ‘Best practices see?’” Yeah, it’s a tricky one.

The idea that this is somehow useful usually drops when arriving at a video: “What I learned from getting fired at Facebook (with Q&A).” This is a clear signal for the first hole called; Procrastination!

Now that we have the YouTube procrastination hole behind let’s look at the another one.

“Yeah, I would do it like this. Install the coding editor, and then. Hmm, what would I code? Would I create this website? Nah, this is too complex. Do I even want to spend time on coding? Shouldn’t I rather do some visual design?”

Do you see it there? The whole time I’m sitting in front of the computer, hunch turtle position, staring at it and not actually doing anything.

On top of that the thinking about coding, slowly builds up anxiety when one swims among the uncertainty and doubt thoughts.

I guess those are the two holes I found myself lost inside the most. Frustrated, that I’m there again! On top of that, I dig them myself!

When, I go out to and see how deep the hole is and realize how much time it took digging it. Yeah, regret is just around the corner: “Have somebody said useless hole?”

This is tricky because when you are digging one, it feels like you are actually doing something. One is focused on it, not seeing that he is not doing what he wanted; to learn. Now how to recognize it?

There are few pointers that I already observed that did help me see: “Oh, another procrastination hole.”

The thoughts hole is easy. Watch when the worry and doubt thoughts comes. They have a feeling flavor of uneasiness and anxiety.

YouTube one is harder. One is drawn into watching and it’s easy to forget about the initial goal. But one clear is when you open a new video and from the topic: “How to code” you are looking at the title of a video: “Let’s build a time machine with pickles and sadness,” you know whazuup.

In a strange way we already know somewhere deep inside what would be a great way to approach something like learning to code in CSS. We just enjoy the hole digging so much. That’s why I think this is the first and really important thing to watch out for. Even more than the next one.

The ideal way

“Okay so avoiding holes. I get it!” (No jokes intended, but one really do when he wants to code.) Well let’s play with it more. I would like to propose an ideal way how I would approach learning.

Let’s take creating a website as an example.

First: Imagine something small and simple you would like to create. Like a one happy button. Nothing more, be careful you may fall into complexity hole just thinking about it.

Second: Watch a video how to actually code a button and code it along the way.

Last: Create something that you enjoy and have fun playing with!

Another hole one can encounter is the perfection hole.

“I would like the button to jump and have eyes inside. Each time I click on it, he would close them and …” I like it, it’s fun but let’s create a green button first.

So it’s good to draw first one concrete idea of a button on a paper and then go and create it. Don’t skip it, don’t hold it inside your head thinking it’s easy, just draw. Clean your brain for the learning.

That way you free up the brain space to focus only on one thing at the time. I really see it especially with learning to take this small steps, slowly one after another, keep away from the holes and here you go learning can happen.

Maybe then after all of those stuff even learning to code may become fun. Not this: “Oh the frick, that so complicated,” hunched over the computer in desperation situation.

So each time you feel that feeling, simplify, draw a clear vision and go back to the step-by-step learning. You can jump, run whatever. Just have fun.

Yeah, simple; don’t dig holes, avoid the existing ones, and have fun!

Bye and take care, see ya tomorrow.
Luke

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